Monday, October 29, 2007

Review: The 99

The 99 was first created by Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa and is, according to an article in Comic Book Resources, as popular in many parts of the world as the X-Men or Justice League are to stateside fans. After coming into contact with comic book veteran Fabian Nicieza, plans for an American version of the series started and soon evolved into the series that has just been published by Kuwait-based publisher Teshkeel Comics.

While #1 of the series has just recently been published, a free #0 issue, entitled "Origins," is what caught my attention to the series. It started off telling the story of Dana, a privileged girl who is kidnapped by terrorists and manages to escape, while blindfolded and bound, with the aide of the mythical Noor Stones that play a large part in the book. The stone that Dana discovered allowed her to see the good and evil within people's souls, and when a man named Dr. Ramzi recruits her for a superhero team, she is surprised to find that Ramzi's soul is almost completely free of evil.

While "Origins" was impressive, I found #1 to be a bit of a letdown. Readers had been introduced to all of the predominant characters already, and #1 seemed to center squarely around a small child who has the power of the Noor Stones. There was little action, and the art was nowhere near the level of "Origins."

That isn't saying that you shouldn't invest time and money in this series. It is only starting, and has the feel of the Byrne and Claremont runs on X-Men with a dose of modernity that can't be faked. With a writer with a proven track record like Nicieza behind the wheel as well, there's no reason to think this series won't be going places.

No comments: